Layering Experiments and the Ripped Shirt

21st December
Layering for winter

Spring-weight cashmere sweater over long-sleeved tee with pencil skirt and Aquatalia (waterproof!) suede boots


Since moving to the Pacific Northwest where winters are a lot colder than I’m used to, I’ve had to become extra creative in order to keep warm and dress stylishly without busting the clothing budget. While I am not one to blindly follow trends, there is one trend right now which totally fits for me: layering clothes made for all seasons (think tank tops worn over tees!)

This license to experiment has given me a whole new lease on getting dressed in the morning! I’ve started combining all sorts of silk shells and sleeveless dresses with long-sleeved tees and fitted turtlenecks. The look is usually a winner. Only a few times has it elicited a look from Mark which I’m quite sure translates to: “Are you really wearing that?”

While zipping up a wool sleeveless dress the other day over a sheer black Helmut Lang top, I was devastated when the zipper snagged the top’s delicate fabric! (We’ll come back to that dress later.) It was one of my favorite tops, which I could wear under a blazer for work, with jeans for a casual night out, or with a dressy skirt and heels.

Wearing the Helmut Lang top with YSL handbag

At first, I thought it was destined for the trash…

Ripped Helmut Lang shirt

…until it dawned on me that I could simply continue using it for more layering experiments!

This past Sunday I wore it under a Rubber Ducky Productions (fun LA brand) sleeveless wool dress, which I scored at a local consignment shop and with Coach black leather over-the-knee boots. It was, by the way, the aforementioned dress whose zipper shredded my top.

Layering a dress over a long-sleeved top

This dress zips up the back.

I wore it to work under a silk Theory shell. Of course, it wasn’t warm enough by itself, and so, I topped it off with an open (unbuttoned) black blazer with a hem short enough to reveal the ruffles of the oxblood shell.

Layering tops for winter

And I wore it under a sleeveless black silk top with a muli-colored Marc by Marc Jacobs skirt a couple weekends ago to go out to dinner with Mark after a long, luxurious nap (hence the hair pulled back into a French braid).

Layering tops for winter

I’m really enjoying this new opportunity to experiment with mixing and matching clothes from different seasons. As you can see, I tend to add a statement necklace to complete the look, unless I am layering tops of the same color and shade. I hope you’ll be inspired to conduct some of your own layering experiments if you haven’t already – much fun is to be had!

Layering with spring sweater

Just be careful not to zip any under layers to shreds!

Snagged Helmut Lang top

What are some of your favorite layering experiments?

XO, Janea

Layering top under dress

No hard feelings toward the dress.



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